Introducing Caraway!

imageHi Salty Runners! I’m honored and excited to be on the Salty team. I’m 39, living in Berlin, Germany with my four year-old son, my husband, and two cranky middle-aged cats. When I’m not playing hide and seek, building with Duplos, or working as a university department administrator, I run. Sometimes in the park near my house in the city, sometimes through 18th- and 19th-century classical landscapes and along the river in Potsdam, and sometimes in the Grunewald, the big forest park in Berlin.

I’ve been running basically forever. My dad claims I ran a mile around the local track with him when I was five. I don’t remember that, but I do remember being 12 and really wanting to run. So I did. I joined the middle-school cross country team and thus began an almost ten-year period of running too fast all the time and then wondering why my race times never really improved. Seriously!

I’m faster now than I was in college, and it’s all down to the magic of running mostly slow and occasionally fast. Well, plus a few minor details like eating and sleeping enough.

I kept running in college and afterwards, just because I liked it. In my twenties I mostly ran because it felt good and I couldn’t stand just sitting around in an office all day and then coming home and sitting some more.ย In 2008 I suddenly had the urge to run seriously again, whatever that meant. Well, you know how it is. You have to distract yourself from a bad relationship and you can’t deal with your feelings so you need to obsess about something, so you might as well train for a half marathon.

imageAnd what do you know? After all those years of jogging around at no particular pace, I started running more, signing up for races, and dropped minutes off my PR at each one. That was addictive. I got really into learning about the science of training and now enjoy trying out different training plans and philosophies and seeing how they affect my body and performance. I mostly run 10ks and half marathons and am on an apparently perpetual quest to break 45 minutes in the 10k and 1:40 in the half.

I just can’t imagine not running. Does it always feel amazing? Not in the moment, no. Sometimes it’s a slog, but sometimes it feels great and usually it’s somewhere in between; I never regret having gone for a run afterwards. I always feel calmer and more relaxed after a run. My son loves to run, too. For him it’s tag, mostly, or playing “let’s go for a run” and I hope as he gets older he’ll retain that joy in movement … and that my hours of running are a good example for him, despite that guilty voice in my head that tells me my running is reason number 894 why he will need a good therapist.

imageRight now I’m starting to base-build after a three-month break – well, more of a breakdown really, but we can cover that in another post – and getting excited to train for the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25th, 2016: my first marathon! I also do Pilates and strength train a few times a week.

I’m currently interested in finding the balance between training and recovery, because there’s nothing like a good breakdown to get you interested in recovery. I’m experimenting with tracking heart rate variability to monitor stress and adaptation to training.

I plan to write about the mental side of training, momming and running, my marathon training, and whatever randomness seems like it might be fun to share!

I'm a 41-year-old living in Berlin, Germany. I run because I can't not run. I write about training, mental training, momming, and the odd rant.

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12 comments

  1. Welcome, Caraway! I’m so excited that there are now three Salties representing in Europe! What brought you to Berlin? If you ever feel so inclined, you could ditch that classical architecture for a weekend and join me at the beach in Malaga. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks Jamie! My husband is german, so here we are. Malaga sounds amazing!! What do you do with all that vitamin d :p

  2. Welcome! I find it so intriguing that you (and other salties) are living or spending a lot of time overseas! Must be such an experience! Sorry to hear about the “breakdown”, definitely been there but like you said it makes you more interested in learning about recovery or better ways to do things-I know that certainly helped me learn what things I was doing WAY wrong. Exciting you are running Berlin as your first marathon, looking forward to following along with training!

    1. Thanks barley! Yeah, it’s one thing to theoretically know what you’re not supposed to do, and a whole other thing to actually experience it for yourself. Someday I will learn that rules apply to me.

  3. I’d love to learn more about your running routes in Berlin as I’ll be there for three weeks in August. There’s a lot of current consideration to the mental and psychological side of athletics, e.g., Matt Fitzgerald’s book “How Bad Do you Want It,” so will be interesting to learn your thoughts, too.

    1. Hi Patricia! Hm, there’s the grunewald, but not on summer weekends – too many mountain bikers. Watch out for the naked joggers as well. Tiergarten, Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Schlachtensee, Potsdam…lots of great running spots.

      Ha, you know, there are at least two other salties who are more versed in psychology than I am (ginger and pumpkin)! But I’m pretty interested in the topic. how is “how bad do you want it”?

  4. WELCOME! We have a lot in common. I was the girl in high school winning all our workouts and then bombing every race and I unfortunately am all too familiar with burning out. Hopefully we can come back together ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks salty!! Woohoo, comebacks! I’ll drink to that, in moderate quantities sufficient to boost my musculoskeletal system while not impairing recovery :p

  5. Welcome!!! I am super jealous that you live in Germany! I mean, not jealous enough to actually move there, but, you know. ๐Ÿ™‚ I took German all through high school, so Germany is the first place I want to go if I ever get to Europe. I’d really like to dazzle the Germans with my on-point knowledge of the song 99 Luftballoons. No big deal.

    1. Danke pumpkin! Das ist ja ein super Ohrwurm. 99 Luftballons auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont…I know what’ll be stuck in my head for tomorrow’s run ๐Ÿ˜€

      You are welcome to visit us and vorsingen any time!

  6. I absolutely love this! I am a German major at a university in the U.S. but have lived (and run plenty of miles) in both Austria and Germany so can’t wait to read your blog!